Real Wedding: Megan + Ross’ Garden Party Australian Wedding

There are so many things I love about this wedding! First, it truly is unique and Megan + Ross really made it about themselves – that’s what it’s all about right? Your wedding day should be a reflection of the two of you! Megan + Ross were married in Queensland, Australia and wanted to do it their own way. They didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen and they walked down the aisle together. They started the day off with greeting their guests before the ceremony for a game of croquet + badminton, along with some drinks + sandwiches. They wanted the day to feel relaxed and see their guests before the actual wedding so they didn’t feel nervous walking down the aisle. :)

They dreamt up an old school 1920s party where guests dressed for daytime activities and then changed to formal attire for the evening. They even had dressing rooms for the guests! How fun is that!! For the wedding ceremony Megan wore a gorgeous red dress inspired by the dress from Atonement. This wedding is full of personality, lots of DIY and help from friends + family, some great advice from the couple and was captured PERFECTLY by the talented Dan O’Day. I hope you love looking at their wedding photos + reading their stories as much as I did! Congrats to the happy couple!

wedding lawn party

australian wedding

We held our wedding and reception at Hidden Valley Bed & Breakfast in Eumundi, QLD. It is a beautiful Victorian House with Art Deco features overlooking four acres of green lawns, with a little creek and handmade bridge. The staff were amazing and let us have free reign of the entire place to make it our own. They did the catering of wholesome, fresh, organic food and owner Elizabeth doubled as our celebrant. Both of our families stayed there for four/five days, some even in the converted train carriages they have for bedrooms!

lawn games at wedding

lawn games at wedding

short white wedding dress

My croquet dress was an original 1950s dress from Coco Repose. My engagement/wedding ring (which we used for both) was an original 1920s antique ruby and diamond. My necklace I’m wearing with the croquet dress is an original 1920s antique pocket watch that Ross had given me for my 30th birthday.

art deco wedding

art deco outdoor wedding

australian wedding reception

australian wedding reception vintage keys

We also had a pile of antique travel cases which my sister-in-law Georgie and I relined with fabric and printed paper. These held little treats for the guests including disposable cameras that looked like vintage lomos, a Polaroid camera that we asked guests to take pictures of themselves and peg onto the string. We had already printed out photos of our grandparents, parents and family getting married. These adorned the wall of the gazebo for the ceremony so not only were we surrounded by our family and friends, we also had our dearly departed with us. The Order of Service was made from an old copy of Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming Of The Shrew’. It was my little literary joke.

vintage cameras at wedding

vintage cameras at wedding

atonement wedding dress

What was the best moment you remember on the day? (From Megan) The ceremony was truly emotional. We had written our own vows and they were straight from the heart. I remember crying so much as I placed the ring on Ross’ finger and said the words “You carried me when I couldn’t walk”. It was a huge moment for me just to actually be standing there. I had gone through six months of not being able to walk on and off before I had spinal surgery and it felt like such a big thing to be thankful for to be able to strut down that aisle holding his hand. It was just such a big culmination of all of our years together up until that point. The next minute I was laughing as we reached a double entendre in the vows. Everyone watching was right there with us in that moment – crying when we were and laughing in sync with us.

red wedding dress

red wedding dress

The necklace I am wearing with the red wedding dress is a cranberry stone from the Museum of Modern Art my mother gave me for my 30th. The bracelet is a 1930s antique pearl, ruby and diamond dragonfly motif that Ross gave me as a surprise present. My hair piece is 1950s vintage and my earrings are also vintage costume jewelry. My red wedding dress was handmade to spec by a friend, Noella Thompson, who has designed costumes for Patience Hodgson of The Grates, Sarah Blasko and Megan Washington. It was based on the dress from ‘Atonement’. (Funny side note: The strap of the dress broke in the middle of the ceremony during ‘the kiss’. Ross only just saved me from showing my breast to the entire audience. My sister pinned it back together with an antique brooch we had on the ring bag that seemed to be made for just that purpose and got on with the rest of the ceremony. It was hilarious and even though it was something going wrong, it was just so perfect for that moment.)

Ross was a little more modern and wore a Topshop suit from Incu, with a Japanese designer shirt by Calibre and a red tie made from my dress material for the wedding. For the croquet he wore grey shorts, suspenders, a white shirt, converse and a bowtie made from my dress material.

red wedding dress

red wedding dress

red wedding dress

What was the best moment you remember on the day? (From Ross) The speeches were pretty amazing and definitely a series of ‘yes!’ moments, interspersed with laughter. I think our MC Lorelei Waite who has been a friend of mine since high school set the tone early and people really relaxed into the speeches. So many people have commented to me since the wedding that they were the best speeches they’d ever heard (including the wedding photographer who has pretty much seen it all). I was a bit apprehensive about making a speech cause I was afraid of standing up in front of people and the emotion of the event just overwhelming me. To me the speeches were the highlight of the wedding because they were so natural and honest, and really funny! I think I had a sore face by the end of the night from laughing so much. Lorelei was amazing and our family and friends who spoke were equally brilliant. Some people even threw away their prepared speeches and decided to make it up as they went along, and to me this made the speeches really special.

wedding music


What did you want from your wedding day? To be as honest as possible and to share that openly with our nearest and dearest friends and family. We also wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities. We achieved that with all the little DIY details and vintage trimmings. We actually had booked another venue and date for the wedding and started planning an entirely different event – very party orientated and music industry style. When the first venue cancelled on us, we took a step back and asked ourselves what we really wanted from the day. We decided the most important thing was feeling comfortable enough to speak from the heart, be able to cry without judgement and laugh easily. So we cut the guest list and simplified the event.

We really wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities and relationship. We had a bit of a key motif throughout the wedding. We had found hundreds of vintagekeys and used them for all the invitations, with handmade luggage tags attached forRSVPs. We continued this for the wedding with the keys used as place settings andvintage style stamps to create luggage tags.

What’s your advice to others planning a wedding? From Megan, Stay true to yourself. Be honest. Make sure it reflects your personalities both individually and as a couple. From Ross, “My advice to others would be to plan a wedding that reflects your personality. A really good exercise that Meg and I did after we were engaged was to independently write down what marriage meant to us, and what we wanted our wedding to be like. This really helped us early on to understand what was important to each other. Also, don’t feel trapped by tradition and convention. There are actually only about two or three things that have to happen legally at a marriage ceremony for it to be valid, the rest is up to you. Ask yourself if you really want a white dress or a bridal party. The great thing about stripping away tradition and convention is that it really frees you up to personalize your wedding day and make it unique.

Thanks again for the amazing photos by Dan O’Day and be sure to check out his blog for LOTS more photos from the day!